Proteas shake off the cobwebs

2011-10-24 07:16

Port Elizabeth - South Africa’s much maligned top-order finally shook off the cobwebs in the second one-day international against Australia in Port Elizabeth and stand-in skipper Hashim Amla was understandably over the moon with the way that his charges had performed.

The Proteas top-order had failed to fire on a consistent basis since the start of Australia’s short tour to the Republic but they came good on Sunday with Jacques Kallis (76), Graeme Smith (57), JP Duminy (56) and David Miller (59) all making significant contributions with the bat as South Africa secured an 80-run win to level the series.

“This is the way we have played cricket over the last few years and it's taken us a while to get there. It's been a bit erratic at times,” Amla said in the aftermath of the win.

One of the most pleasing aspects of South Africa’s victory was the big partnerships that they built in amassing their total of 303 for six, an aspect of their game that they will want to continue when the two teams meet in the series decider in Durban on Friday.

Kallis and Smith combined for a 142-run second-wicket stand while Duminy and Miller added 107 runs for the fifth-wicket.

“I'm not too sure if it was a 300 wicket, probably a 250-par score but those partnerships built it up,” explained Amla.

“Everyone knows Graeme and the amount of work he puts in and the desire he has. When he is playing well, we usually get good starts.

“JP has a lot of experience. He assessed the situation, saw David was playing well so he didn't have to force the pace. We know at the back end of the game he is very aggressive, he's got fantastic hands and lovely scoring areas,” he added.

Amla, who failed to score after falling off the first ball of the match, is hopeful that his team’s good form with the bat will spill over to the Durban match.

“In the last game we lacked partnerships but the boys came back and showed what we're capable of. The bowlers responded beautifully as well. There is all to play for in Durban now.” he concluded.

Australia captain Michael Clarke said he was not surprised at the way South Africa had responded after the 93-run shellacking they had suffered in the first match of the series.

“They're a very good team, plenty of experience and they love playing in their home conditions so we need to be at our best to beat them. We weren't tonight and obviously the result didn't go our way,” said Clarke.

Of greater concern to Australia was the injury suffered by key all-rounder Shane Watson. Watson was forced to leave the field after bowling just 3.5 overs while he looked distinctly uncomfortable when he came out to bat at five instead of his customary opening slot after suffering from back spasms.

But Clarke is positive that Watson will be fit for the series decider.

“It was a very positive sign that he went back out and batted and I am very confident that he will ready for Friday's game," said Clarke.


  • Ian - 2011-10-24 07:32

    well played boys, fantastic performance

      Wesley - 2011-10-24 11:14

      We are working out the kinks against arguably the best in the world!!? will take a bit of time.... but we'll get there, Well Done Boys!!!!!

  • Dhirshan - 2011-10-24 07:55


      Kosie - 2011-10-24 08:09

      one average innings doesn't make up for all the useless innings, if he maintains that and bat well for the whole season, then i will change mind, one or 2 average innings isn'tgood enough

      Brett - 2011-10-24 08:35

      @Kosie Yeah, he's been having a poor run with the bat in the last few months. It would benefit you to look at his overall stats though before you speak of "all the useless innings". He really is a top class performer. Is he a great captain? Debatable Is he an arrogant chop? Maybe Is he an average batsman? Not a chance. He's a fantastic batsman and many of our victories have come off the back of his scores upfront. He's often been the lone light when our line up has failed too. Let's look at the whole guys, not just the negative.

      Johan - 2011-10-24 08:41

      ill admit im a smith hater, but ill also admit he had a good innings, it did take him a while though lets be honest, i just hope he can continue it for the sake of the team and the series...

      Leon - 2011-10-24 08:47

      @ Dhirshan - I'm here (a true smith hater). So, just because had made a 50 (merely by way of change) he is suddenly 'the man', hey? No, I do not blame him 'for every single thing', only his inability to consistently make runs, instead of consistently make failures. Go and check out his stats for the last 2 years on cricinfo - pretty poor! Perhaps, (this is a big maybe) he could do better in the tests - I hope so, but really do not expect him to do well (as usual).

  • Darryl - 2011-10-24 08:19

    To everyone that had doubt and bad mouthed about our boys, I hope ur all eating your words. This a start to a new begining. Well done boys u made us proud!!

      Elize - 2011-10-24 08:52

      Well said!

  • Hennie - 2011-10-24 10:33

    Well done boys .If Amla had been firing we could have made 325. My only wish is that Johan Botha stop his "traffick cop" antics after every ball he bowls.

  • Pieter - 2011-10-24 10:34

    That was not cobwebs; that was pure unadulterated lack of commitment and respect forthe game! It took a team of largely Ausie rookies to butcher them before they woke up. This is the case over and over again every time we begin a series agaianst whoever. It must stop! Having said that, congratulations to each and every player who made a positive contribution to our success, even Graeme Smith! I believe if you guys are honest with yourselves you will admit that nothing changed between Centurion and Port Elizabeth except your own attitude and approach to the game. Let that be a lesson and you will done well for the rest of the season!

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